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Black debates issues with mature citizens

By Xavier Smith xsmith@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 17, 2015 at 7:01 PM

Congresswoman Diane Black met in Mt. Juliet with members of the Association of Mature American Citizens on Monday night to discuss what’s happening in the nation’s capital and plans for the future.

The Association of Mature American Citizens is a membership organization that offers conservative perspectives on how to address problems faced by senior citizens. Black is a member.

Black discussed several issues facing the country including immigration, the national debt and Obamacare, which sparked an intense debate between Black and an unidentified audience member.

The Mature American Citizens member shared his concerns about Obamacare, particularly the excise tax on high-cost coverage or Cadillac tax, set to go into effect in 2018.

“My company has a premium health care plan for employees, which would force us to pay the excise tax.” He said. “I’ve read Obamacare, and I want to know why American people don’t know about the excise tax.”

“I talk about it all the time.” Black said. “I discuss the effects of Obamacare; people do know.”

The Cadillac tax is a 40 percent excise tax that will be imposed on health insurance benefits exceeding a certain threshold. The thresholds are $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage. The issuer, usually the employer, is responsible for paying the excise tax in self-funded coverage plans.

The threshold will be adjusted based on an individual’s age, gender and occupation.

The man also questioned the future of interest rates, corporate tax rates and the American dollar as the world reserve currency.

“I see a lot of plans and figures, and I’m just looking for more concrete solutions to the problems,” he said. “I know it requires more than one person. It takes a team.”

Black said some congressional issues are the result of members who are concerned with being re-elected. 

“We don’t always have that mentality on the other side of the aisle.”

Black also criticized President Barack Obama’s approach to border patrol. 

“We don’t know where they’re coming from. They can bring different diseases and carry parasites and bacteria we’re not familiar with,” she said.

“It’s also a national security threat. Some could come from Syria and Yemen and be terrorists.”

Black said the president must let states know when undocumented children come and acknowledge the states have a right to refuse the children. She said more than 900 undocumented immigrants could potentially be placed in Tennessee in the upcoming year.

Black said she would become discouraged if not for her faith and some good people praying for her.

The stop in Mt. Juliet followed a pair of appearances in Westmoreland for Black, who would enter her third term in the U.S. House if she defeats Democrat challenger Amos Scott Powers and Independent challenger Mike Winton in November.

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